The GNU font utilities
to allow conversion of a scanned type specimen image into an outline
(PostScript or Metafont) font. These fonts can be used with
The fontutils has a new maintainer. Please be patient as the new maintainer
acclimates to the project.
The current tasks for the new maintainer are:
- Get the code to compile against GCC 4.5.2. - DONE
- Update the infrastructure to current autoconf. - PENDING
- Generate a new release using new autoconf. - PENDING
- Work on using gnulib. - PENDING
- Add user/developer driven functionality. - PENDING
- Remove legacy/deprecated components. - PENDING
- Convert to single changelog. - DONE
Since the fontutils were originally written in the early 1990's,
other programs have been developed which do a better job of some parts
of this task. Here is a list of the fontutils programs with indications
of their current status:
- imgrotate: rotates images 90 degrees, an inefficiently-implemented
subset of pnmrotate (from netpbm).
- imageto: extracts individual characters from a large image; still useful.
- fontconvert: some features may still be useful, such as creating a
tfm file from a bitmap.
- charspace: allows non-interactive side bearing specification, so
possibly still useful. On the other hand, fontforge allows interactive
specification, and has a very nice preview window for testing side
- gsrenderfont: a shell script that converts outline fonts to bitmaps
at a given size. This is called from TeX programs under certain
circumstances. The version here has long been replaced by the scripts
in the TeX distributions.
- limn: does the actual conversion from bitmaps to splines. These
days, you're much better off using
- bzrto: conversion from the generic homegrown `bzr' (Bezier) format
output by limn to PostScript Type 1, PostScript Type 3, or
- bpltobzr: translate the binary bzr format into an equivalent text
format `bpl' (bezier property list), for editing. Fortunately, a
full-featured free outline font editor, fontforge, has been written
(by George Williams). Obsolete.
- xbfe: bitmap font editor for shapes and metrics; astonishingly, it
seems there are still no bitmap editors for any format except BDF, so
still useful. Or can fontforge handle other bitmaps?
The obsolete programs should probably be removed from the
distribution, but left in the source tree.